Why exposure to fiberglass from a mattress can be dangerous
Since 2007, all manufacturers of mattresses in the U.S. have been required by law to include a fire retardant in their products.
While in the past, they would add dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene, today, most companies that manufacture inexpensive mattresses add fiberglass as a fire retardant, as it is very cheap.
Few manufacturers use safe fire retardants in their mattresses, such as wool or natural latex, as these alternatives are more expensive. We take cases for mattresses purchased from the following manufacturers:
Fiberglass is made of the same glass kitchen glasses and windows are made of, but it is dangerous because it is comprised of sharp, tiny shards of glass that can become embedded in both fabric and skin. Although fiberglass is neither toxic nor carcinogenic, it is extremely irritating, and upon exposure, which can occur via inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion, a person might experience one or more of the following health conditions and symptoms:
The vast majority of problematic mattresses contain fiberglass in their inner layer, and if they have a zipper misleading consumers into thinking it is safe to take to outer cover off, the fiberglass layer will be exposed. Fiberglass particles will come off the mattress with the slightest disturbance, clouding the air and inevitably exposing whoever is in close proximity. The injuries one can experience as a result of fiberglass exposure range from mild to severe. In many cases, the respiratory system is affected, and people will have to use inhalers temporarily or even permanently, whose cost is between $300 and $400 per prescription.
Lastly, the price is one of the telltale signs that a mattress might contain fiberglass. More specifically, if it costs approximately $600 for a queen bed, it most likely has fiberglass as a fire retardant. Furthermore, memory foam mattresses usually contain fiberglass, as memory foam is basically derived from inflammable petroleum products, so it requires strong protection against fire.
Eligibility criteria you have to meet to file a toxic mattress claim
If you own a mattress with fiberglass, regardless of the manufacturer, and experienced injuries or house contamination because of this fire retardant, we advise you to give our legal team a phone call, as you might be eligible to file a claim.
By filing a claim, you request the financial compensation you are entitled to from the negligent company. However, you have to meet the following criteria to qualify for taking legal action:
- you must own a mattress with fiberglass from which fiberglass escaped
- the fiberglass must have injured you or contaminated your home
- you must keep the mattress as evidence in a place where it can no longer harm you
Preparing a product liability claim is a complex and lengthy process, and our attorneys need to take their time to properly file your claim. This will ensure you will receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
Other toxic agents that might be lurking in your memory foam mattress
Since not all mattresses are created equal, some can negatively impact your health due to chemical off-gassing, which refers to the release of a gas that was dissolved, trapped, frozen, or absorbed in a material.
Perhaps one of the greatest concerns when it comes to mattresses besides fiberglass is chemical off-gassing. While this issue cannot occur with organic latex mattresses, it can happen with memory foam mattresses or those made of polyurethane foam or other synthetic materials.
Although toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene are used less and less in mattresses as flame retardants, they might still lurk in some cheap mattresses. Exposure to these chemicals has a strong link to cancer, infertility, and neurodevelopmental disorders. If your mattress is off-gassing harmful chemicals, it means that you are breathing in toxins for at least 7 hours every night. Because we sleep for a third of our lives, it is paramount that we opt for a mattress that is beneficial to our health instead of poisoning us in our sleep.
The following are some of the most hazardous chemicals that can be found in mattresses as fire retardants:
- boric acid
- halogenated flame retardants
- volatile organic compounds
- polybrominated diphenyl ethers
- decabromodiphenyl oxide
- vinylidene chloride
Because your mattress can contain both fiberglass and one or more of the above chemicals, it is best to switch to a more expensive one with natural and safe materials as flame retardants. Although you might have to save money for a while to afford a high-quality, non-toxic mattress, this will truly be one of the greatest investments you will make. It is estimated that up to 90% of Americans have flame retardant chemicals in their body, whose source is the very mattresses they sleep on. Consequently, choosing a mattress with natural latex, rayon, or wool as a fire retardant is a wise idea.
People who experience fiberglass contamination have to pay for the cost of the cleanup themselves
In addition to the serious injuries fiberglass exposure might cause upon removing the cover of a problematic mattress, there is home contamination, which can result in the loss of all the belongings of a family.
When it becomes airborne, fiberglass will cause property damage, which can take a heavy toll on the budget of the family to solve, especially if the members have also experienced injuries related to fiberglass exposure.
The cost of both the treatment for the injuries caused by fiberglass and the professional fiberglass cleanup can be very high.
Furthermore, in a lot of cases, not even professional cleanup teams can remove fiberglass from certain items, especially furniture covered in fabric, drapes, couches, plush toys, and carpets, so the family will have to dispose of these objects. This will further impact their financial situation. Lastly, while fiberglass is being removed from their homes, the owners of problematic mattresses will have to spend a few days in a hotel room if they do not have the option to move in with a family member, a relative, or a friend.
Ashley and Nectar will likely say to consumers affected by fiberglass that they no longer have a warranty because they removed the outer cover of the mattress. This way, the manufacturer steers clear of any responsibility regarding the issue of fiberglass. As a consequence, people whose homes became contaminated with fiberglass or whose health was affected by exposure to it will not receive any financial help from these manufacturers.
Nevertheless, each case is unique, so it might be possible for the company to offer you a replacement mattress or money if fiberglass took a toll on your life. However, your best bet is to file a toxic mattress claim, which will result in significantly more money than a refund. The compensation you will receive from the manufacturer with the help of a lawyer will be able to cover nearly all the damage caused by fiberglass in your life.